I am the daughter of a heterosexual White Christian couple from Tennessee. I am the granddaughter of many generations of southern families. I am unclear if any of my family ever owned slaves, but I won’t rule it out. I was raised in the church, but in reflecting upon everything I learned as a child, it was not the church that taught me how to be a good person – it was my mother and my grandmothers.
These three women taught me the value of everyone’s lives. These three women taught me about the importance of love. These three women taught me the values of kindness and compassion towards all people.
As a child, I saw hatred, and I saw racism. But these three women taught me to love everyone – no matter the color of their skin, economic status, or if they were LGBTQIA+.
Maybe they disagreed with abortion.
Maybe they disagreed with someone being gay.
But they believed that every single human life is precious and deserves to be treated equally and that love should be selfless and full of kindness.
The faith I practice today is guided by the principles my mother and grandmothers instilled into me. To love the stranger, care for the other, and be there in a time of need for anyone. To hold their hand, lend a shoulder, cook a hot meal, or help them fight the oppression they faced.
I feel like my grandmothers, one a Catholic and one a Methodist, would be broken-hearted over the world today.
I feel that, even if they were frail, they would be finding a way to love those most impacted by the rights being taken away. My grandmother was so full of patriotism and belief that America was such a great place. She believed America to be a place of opportunity – not a place that took away our rights. Sometimes I wonder if the hope and faith in this beautiful America died with her when she passed away 16 years ago.
When I think about this, I want to cry. Cry over the thought of my grandmother losing the hope of America, the beautiful. I want to make this place we live into the place she saw and dreamt about.
In the last week, we’ve not only lost Roe but also Miranda rights and separation of church and state. Our Supreme Court has also overthrown states’ rights that prohibit or place limits on the carrying of concealed weapons, handguns, and other killing machines. This was written in what was happening in America as of June 25, 2022.